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To share or not to share is a big decision

Sharing photos with the world, or your social media following can be quite scary. The question becomes to share or not to share? It is a big decision. What can you get out of it when you do it? There are a few things to consider.

To share or not to share is a big decision

I have shared nearly every image I have ever worked on. Obviously not every image I’ve ever taken. Wow, that would be an overload on a major scale. Still, I have worked on a lot and then shared them on Social Media. Whether that was here or somewhere else.

Sharing

It has been good doing that. Mainly because it is nice to do images that others see. There doesn’t seem a lot of point to just do them and leave them sitting in a folder that no one sees.

However, saying that, there are always two sides to the benefits.

Negatives

You open yourself up to a lot of criticism when you share your photos. Everyone has an opinion, there is no doubt about that. Not a lot you can do about it, but still, that criticism can hurt at times.

Over the years I have got a lot better at taking it. No, that’s not true, I still hate getting it. I don’t mind if it is from people that I respect or know, but when it comes from random people that I don’t know, well, that drives me nuts. I don’t know who they are, so how do they have the right to tell me how I should be doing my images. Really!

Getting a thick skin

You do have to get a thick skin or appear to have one. I have things that I have learned to say to people over the years that usually stops them in their tracks. There is no point being nasty. You just invited it back if you do that. Still, you have to be firm. I own my images if that makes sense. When I put an image out there I try to say, this is mine and I like it. Hopefully, people get the idea and leave it at that.

You can’t stop all the nastiness, but being able to block people so they can’t see what you do is great. Over the years I haven’t had to do it to many people, thankfully. Nice to have the feature though.

That is really the only negative I can think of.

Positives

For me, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Sharing my images has given me so much joy over the years. I have met so many new people because of it. There is almost a kindred spirit or something like that among photographers. I love it.

Of course, it is great to see if people like images and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy that. I do. Though, you can also get a sense of what images are well received and which aren’t by the responses. The number of likes an image gets is always a good indicator. I know on Instagram that my landscape/seascape images are far better liked than my city ones. That doesn’t mean I will stop doing the latter, but I know when I put up one of those images that I will have deal with it not being as popular.

If I am getting images together for a competition or exhibition I often look back on my photos to see which ones will probably be good choices.

Seeing images constantly

Perhaps the best benefit for me is just seeing the image constantly. When you are seeing it all the time you can decide if you like it or not. I’m talking about myself here, not others. I decide if an image worked or not. Sometimes I will think, nope, hate it. Then other times I might think, I need to do more to it, that I missed something in the first edit. Occasionally, very much so, I find I’m really happy with an image and wouldn’t change a thing.

Of course, I know some are absolute disasters and I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea to put them up. You just have to have a go at times.

Now I’m going to show you an image that I really haven’t wanted to share. I took it last year and edited it a couple of months ago. I was trying some new things and I spent hours on it. Actually, I have no idea how long, but I worked on it and off for over a month. A few minutes here, and there.

The image

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I was trying out some things in Photoshop. It is dark, but I love dark images. So I am showing it to you for the first time. The image is done, I believe.

So, as I said I love it. It is a direction I want to go in. The editing that is, not necessarily on images such as this. When summer is finally done, I am going to spend more time getting images so I can do this sort of thing to them. Plans are being made.

We are having such a hot summer this year. It is horrible. It feels like the heat will never end.

The first image is something new for me too. I was inspired by my friend Steve. The image was taken with the Fujifilm X-T20. I’m loving it so much. I love how easy it is to carry around and use. My back loves it as well.

Why do you like sharing images?

32 Responses

  1. Niles Herman

    Hi! I love the central theme of your photo. The cityscape is impressive and badass. Not this sparkly happy place we see too often in photography. But I understand your frustration, in my eyes its too much unfeathered blackness encroaching from top and bottom. There is a border in the clouds when they stop being dramatic storm clouds and start appearing as a too black, too dense… material, that shouldnt be floating around in the sky. This becomes eternally slightly annoying, even when resting ones gaze upon the many cool impressions from the city.
    Oh snap, now Im one of those… complete strangers criticizing your work.. but my intentions are good! 🙂

    Sincerely – Niles.

  2. Excellent article, Leanne. And I really love your cityscape. You give them this almost otherworldly appearance. They are just plain cool.

    You asked about sharing. Good question. For me it is about simply trying to show people what I see and hopefully some enjoy it and maybe I can bring a little smile to someone who needs it. But it was SUPER SCARY to start. I can’t even tell you how many old slides and negatives I have stored in boxes – no one is seeing them.

    You made two points that are the same for me. First, why do the work to have it sit in a box or on a hard drive. Let people see. Hopefully I won’t get beat up too badly. Second, like you I like to see my work. It makes me think, evaluate, and criticize myself – do I like it? Why? Why not? What could I do better?

    And I also hope that my photos will help some of my friends and family get to know me better and in ways that would be difficult otherwise. Our photography is very personal, and it says a lot about our inner thoughts.

    Sorry to ramble, but now you know. Thanks Leanne. As always you inspire me.

    • Thank you Tim, good to hear that you like them.

      I can understand why you would find it scary to start with, I think we all go through that.I have hundred, thousands of negatives as well, just stored away.
      Glad to hear you agree about showing your work, good points.

      I like your last point, that is really nice.
      No problem with the ramble, nice to hear what you think about this. Thank you Tim.

  3. I do belong to a group that holds juried competitions. I joined not to win but to learn, and I have.

  4. Putting our precious angst or pleasure out there for people who aren’t necessarily our friends, or even know us for that matter is a step that’s fraught with risk and reward. Rare is the friend that can give you remotely close to an unbiased assessment or critique of your work whether it be photography, some other 2D or 3D art, writing and the like. The potential for both negative and positive criticism to improve our work is huge but can come at an emotional cost. That said in the end although a work may have an intrinsic value, it’s value to others is a component of the whole experience of creation and improvement then more creation.

  5. I enjoy sharing my part of the world through my lens with the rest of the world. I like to hear what people think about my photos. I have enjoyed photography for a very long time. I was encouraged by a bloke where I worked and he wanted to see my photos and gave me ideas. From this I share with anyone who wants to see what I do. Sometimes I get feed back and sometimes I give my idea of what I see in their photos. I like the dark side in post processing of some images too. Love your photo Leanne.

  6. I am glad that you and other photographers share your work on social media. It helps those of us who are not professional learn and grow in our hobby. I have always loved your style and am glad you continue to share!!

  7. I always enjoy how you handle the light in your images. The way you balance dark and light, areas of shadow and areas that glow, I think really is one of the major beats to your signature style. I think it is one of the most significant things that makes your images identifiable as yours.

  8. Sharing is a wonderful way to meet new friends, to get ideas and inspiration, to see through others’ eyes. Your blog is how I met you, although we did get off on the wrong foot when I started with a critique. Your photography has been wonderful to see. It is in a class with just a few other master photographers whom I admire. Keep up your fabulous work!

    • I have loved how I have met so many people through my blog. Thank you so much Ludwig, good to see you are still here, that means a lot. I am sure I will keep it up, I hope. Take care.

  9. Everyone has an opinion and while sometimes it can be constructive we are all sensitive about our work. And then there are those who revel in being jerks who just say things to be mean in order to hear themselves. My fear about sharing – images that is – is finding them being used without permission or so much as a credit. That has happened to me a few times.

    • That is very true, they do have opinions, we are also sensitive, have to admit to that. Oh yes, I hate the jerks, I never want to hear from them. I try not to worry about them being taken, I just enjoy doing them, not that I want them pinched, but I guess it is part of the problem when you share. Thank you.

  10. Sharing your work has allowed people like me to see and appreciate it, who would otherwise not have been able to, so it’s a very good thing. I love your work and the editing you have used in your latest image looks fantastic. Art will always be open to criticism, it’s just the way different people view the work and at the end of the day, just one individuals’ personal opinion.

    • Thank you Stuart, that is always good to hear from people. I agree, that art is definitely subjective, though if people want to be highly critical, I can do without that. It is amazing what a slump that sort of thing can put you in. I’ve heard of people almost giving up after some nasty stuff.

  11. Hi Leanne, love your posts….always thoughtful and With either something to consider, or appreciate or take on board or all three!!
    I will say I too love sharing my images and derive much pleasure from people’s comments.
    I also want to say hats off to the image of melbourne in this post.
    Its beautiful…the mood, the clarity, the focus, the skyscape …

    • That is great to hear Trees, nice to know that people like what I write.
      Great to hear you love sharing too, I have to say, I do as well.
      Thank you so much, good to hear.

  12. Excellent viewpoints. Yes, each person sees things through his/her own eyes. As we know, each photographer has a certain angle or view she/he appreciates. So…while it’s great to gather insight, each of us should enjoy what is produced. 🙂

  13. Hi Leanne, it’s so good to hear from you again. I post to get feedback. The groups I post in usually don’t critique unless you ask for it, and if you do, expect it to come. You can always tell if a photo is received well by the “likes.” I do my blog to tell my story, and to get feedback. It’s wonderful because I’ve met so many wonderful photographers like you! It makes me feel great when someone tells my that my photography has come a long way and they enjoy it.

    • Hello Anne, good to hear from you as well. I run a group that is like that, people have to ask for the critique before they get one. I think the same about the likes. I have to same some of my best friends that I have now are because of photography, it is fantastic. that is good to hear, thanks Anne.

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